The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
(CAIS) -- The
case of destruction of part of Persepolis and
the theft of an artefact are still open, and it is under investigation by
the Marvdasht Public Prosecutor's Office, reported the Persian service of ISNA.
now 16 people from the excavation group and Security Unit office have been
arrested, questioned and released on bail pending further investigations. The
case was initially opened as the result of public and Iran Cultural Heritage,
Handicraft and Tourism Organisation's complaints, said Kazam Akrami from the
Marvdasht Public Prosecutor's Office.
with commented on the lack of CCTV in the area and said we have interrogated
security officers who are responsible for safeguarding the site and they have
relinquished themselves from any responsibility, since they claim the robbed
grave and its' contents were not reported to the Security Unit by the
archaeologists, therefore the site was not included in the protection coverage
Yazdani from Archaeological Research Centre, back
in January asserted that the Security Unit was aware of their excavation and
the discovery of the grave.
is not clear whether the archaeologists from the Iran Archaeological Research
Centre had a duty to report their findings to the security unit, or if they had
reported it, the security unit are denying their claim.
robbed grave is only 100 meters away from their station.
theft and destruction of the site took place on 17th January, after the
discovery of an Achaemenid dynastic grave by archaeologists. The grave contained
a skeleton, a ceramic beaker and a burner. The beaker was contained a grave
offering which is now missing.
have found broken pottery near the grave, which could be the beaker - maybe it
was broken in order to remove its' contents. Currently the broken pieces are in
process of being reassembled and it is now 80% complete, to verify if they
belong to the missing beaker. The point of reference is the pictures taken by
archaeologists on the day of crime.
This is not the first time thieves have targeted Persepolis. The most puzzling theft from Persepolis was taken place in March 2006, when police seized a double-bull-headed capital in Kerman. The Persepolitan-capital was discovered in Kerman by vigilantes and reported to police. The artefact was bound to leave Iran for West. Neither, the ICHHTO, Persepolis officials or any of the Islamic Republic's state controlled news agencies had reported the robbery -- nor did they offer any explanation as how such a colossal capital which weighs few tones could be removed from Persepolis complex without the officials' knowledge.
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